With the iPad mini official launching this Friday, several people who pre-ordered and decided to pick up a Smart Cover along with their purchase have begun to receive them ahead of receiving their actual iPad mini. I received mine today and found that while it's pretty much the same as the regular sized iPad Smart Covers, there are a few differences.
Upon unboxing the iPad mini, the first thing I noticed was how the hinge is slightly different than that of the older Smart Covers. While there is a magnet running along the side just as you'd expect, it's covered. I actually prefer this design as it looks like one solid piece instead of a steel magnet breaking up the design. It's not a huge deal and most people would be fine either way, but it's one of the subtle design changes that makes a product look better.
Other than that there aren't very many differences between the iPad mini smart cover and its larger counterpart aside from the fact that it is freakishly smaller. As you can see from the images above, holding the iPad mini Smart Cover gives you a pretty good idea of how much smaller the iPad mini really is.
The Smart Cover will fold the same way you're used to with the traditional Smart Covers so you can elevate the iPad mini to type or to view media content in a more upright position. The only real difference is where the traditional Smart Covers required you to fold twice, the iPad mini's smaller size only needs to be folder over once.
The iPad mini Smart Cover is available in the Apple Online Store now for $39, the same price as the traditional Smart Covers. I was honestly surprised they weren't slightly cheaper than the larger variants. The Polyurethane version is the only one available as of now and we aren't sure if Apple will offer a leather version for the iPad mini at some point in the future.
Other than that, it's same Smart Cover that we've all come to either love or hate. If you enjoy using the original Smart Covers on your iPad and appreciate the minimalistic design even though it offers zero protection to the back of the device, you'll like the versions for the iPad mini. If you didn't, you won't like these either.
We'll have more once we've gotten our hands on an iPad mini to test it out on but in the mean time, check out more images below.
All photos taken with a Nikon D7000 and a 50mm f/1.8 lens and embedded at HiDPI for iPhones, iPad 3, and Retina MacBook Pro.